Have you ever noticed that you don’t think too much about how much you rely on your car or smartphone until they don’t work? When they go south, we realize how much we need them to get through the day, whether it’s getting to work, shopping, or communicating with co-workers and family. Without these capabilities, our “normal” lives come to a grinding halt.
Unfortunately, this same “take it for granted” attitude can also apply to people. Too often, the people we count on in our communities are not recognized for their contributions. They go about their jobs unseen and unsung until we finally realize how much we depend on them. One group often overlooked is the lineworkers who keep our electrical grid systems functioning.
Line Work is Dangerous Work
We think nothing of flipping on the light switch, turning up the thermostat, popping a snack in the microwave, and turning on the television, and it’s all because line workers are keeping our power grids operating. In addition to working daily to perform regular maintenance and upgrades on these systems, they are also on call in any weather to respond to emergency outages. Many are also available to travel the country to help communities recover from tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and other disasters. When Hurricane Ian was about to hit land in Florida in September 2022, line workers from over 30 states came ahead of time, prepared to mobilize wherever they were needed and, in the end, over 40,000 utility workers assisted in getting Florida back up and running in record time.
But what makes them especially worthy of our attention, respect, and gratitude is that this job is one of the most demanding and dangerous. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, their fatality and injury rates rank right up there with professions like policemen and sheriff’s patrol officers. But line workers face a different danger: danger from electrocution and falls, for example.
At Safeguard Equipment®, we manufacture personal voltage and current detectors (PVDs) that alert line workers to the presence and location of energized lines and equipment. We cannot see, hear, or feel electrical fields. When storms have brought down power poles or lines, line workers may not know where a line has fallen or whether a live line has energized an object like a chain-link fence or a vehicle. Lines that are supposed to be dead may be energized by generators or by contact with other lines. Safeguard devices can – and have – saved the lives of line workers in the field. Our mission is to design and manufacture products that will reduce the number of injuries and fatalities for line workers, so they can safely return to their families at the end of their work day.
Fallen Linemen Charities to Consider
You will often hear about charities for fallen officers and their families, as well as for fallen or disabled soldiers and their families. These are all worthy causes. These organizations provide us with a way to give back and thank the people and families who have sacrificed for our safety and freedom. But few people realize there are charities to help fallen line workers and their families. Line work is as essential and critical as any other public service – a service we count on daily.
Here are a few fallen lineman charities that help injured line workers and the families of fallen linemen. These types of organizations do not get enough attention, and we hope you will share this post with people you know.
- Fallen Lineman Foundation
- Fallen Lineman Organization
- NSUJL (National Sisterhood for Journeyman Linemen)
- National Association of Journeymen Linemen
(Please note that Safeguard Equipment does not expressly endorse these organizations. Please look at their websites to determine for yourself whether and how much you want to contribute.)
Besides these large organizations, remember the line workers in your own community. To find out if there are any local funds, contact your local utility company. If there has been a death or injury to a worker in your local company, a co-worker or friend will often establish a private fundraiser to help support a fallen lineman’s family.
At Safeguard Equipment, we know first-hand the risks line workers take every time they punch in. We can’t tell you how gratified we feel when we find out that our products have helped to save the life of a worker in the field. Our PVDs are designed to be robust, easy to operate, and effective. Contact Safeguard today to learn more about Safeguard Equipment and our COMPASS line of PVDs.